Cambox Meca Brand Ambassador
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After being out of the drivers seat for a little over 3 months it was great to be back in my Spectrum built Formula Ford.
We travelled to a track I love Wakefield Park in Goulburn NSW for our last opportunity to test before the New Year and try out a New set up we had been working towards.
After the initial shakedown i set out on some hot laps. the track was quite dirty and I had to search for grip however as each session passed I was able to improve my lap times and would eventually set a new PB by more than 3/10ths. That sort of pace would have secured pole at the National Series event.
Now we will strip down the car in the off season in prep for 2020.
I have a 2 day test in early Feb at Winton raceway ready for Round 1 there late March.
Hopefully I get the opportunity to secure the required funding to race in 2020 as I believe that I am close to winning on a consistent bases.
Friday was great as I was quickest in the first two sessions of the day as the track was low of grip due to the cold conditions. There was 27 cars entered for the weekend and most of the drivers had tested there leading up to the event so I knew it was going to be tough after being out of the seat for over 3 months.
Qualifying was really tricky due to the strong wide and cold temperatures.
after being held up in the first part of qualifying i managed to put in a decent lap finishing up in P6. It was so tight at the top that I was less then a tenth of a sec off 3rd.
Race one Saturday afternoon I was locked in a great battle for the top 5 constantly swapping positions with some of Australia's best open wheel drivers. I had made my way into 5th place only to be overtaken after I had caught a lapped car in the wrong place which allowed them to catch me. I crossed the line where I started in 6th place.
Sunday and I was extremely confident that I could make a run at the top 4.
Started Race 2 well and was putting a ton of pressure on 5th place, I was actually running faster lap times then the cars in front and I felt I was being held up and knew that if I could just get past then I could pull away.
Unfortunately the next lap heading into turn 2 at 200 KPH I went to apply the brakes and they went straight to the floor! , All this with 3 cars running nose to tail.
I went spinning backwards across the grass and luckily missed all the cars and ended up stuck in the sand trap. After getting the car back to the garage we had realized the a rear brake disc had exploded.
Last race of the weekend I had to start out of last place meaning I had a lot of work to do to even have a chance to make a run at the top 10.
I had made a heap of passes in the first 5 laps and had worked my way into 14th place. While I was passing 13th place he turned me around and I ended up back in last place. With only a hand full of laps remaining I managed to work my way back to 18th.
Really promising weekend ruined by something out of our control.
With only a couple of races left this season we have decided to miss them and concentrate on putting a budget plan together and see if we can make a run at the Championship next year.
Jake is looking to return to the Formula Ford National Series for round 6 at Wakefield park raceway.
He has missed the last two rounds due to funding restraints but is confident that he can secure the funds needed to compete in his home state.
Jake has been itching to get back on track and has been pushing himself not only at the gym but also spending around 30 hrs a week on the Simulator. He wants to make sure that he is ready to take on the Nations best open wheel drivers on his return.
The team is working on improving the car for Jake's return and will leave no stone unturned in its chase for those extra tenths of a second. Synergy Motorsport Justin Cotter said he's looking forward to seeing Jake back on track representing his Sydney based Formula Ford team. " Jake has a great talent and he needs to be out there showing it off' He has what it takes to be a success in this category but we just need to add a little polish."
The team is looking at a test day schedule in August in preparation for the national series in Goulburn Sept 6-7
Unfortunately I won’t be racing Round 4 of the Formula Ford Australia National Series at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia. After showing top 4 pace in the last 2 round at Queensland Raceway and Winton we had to make the decision to miss Round 4 after failing to secure a Major Sponsor. We will be doing everything we can to get back in the National Series as soon as we can.
My family have invested thousands of dollars in my career so far and have given me such great support and encouragement. I really love racing against Australia's best Open Wheel drivers and hope I can once again prove that I have what it takes to be a contender.
I want to thank all our partners and supporters for their ongoing commitment.
Joe Bennett & Andrew Keen from Penrith Air Supply
Frank from Auto Vault Storage
Brian Friend from NZRDC
Anglea from INOX Lubricants
Andrew from Repco Lidcombe
Riccardo from Priceless Images
Sean from Bad Ass Graphics
Craig from C and A Mobile
If you have anyone who is looking to become involved in Motorsport and wants to try a unique way of advertising their business then tell them to get in contact with us.
Over the weekend I competed in the 3rd round of the Australian National Formula Ford Championship at Winton Raceway with the V8 Supercars Championship. After doing the test day the week prior thanks to Penrith Air Supply the strong pace at Queensland I went into the weekend confident of a strong result. Friday was practice and qualifying day. I was really happy with the pace that I was able to show in each of the sessions with a couple of top five results. Qualifying was tricky but I felt i got the best out of our car qualifying in 6th place only 3 tenths off the front row. I was also the fastest of the Spectrum built cars. The guys in front all run with the top team and have new cars, so we are definitely on their pace. Race one I had made some moves in the wet to be running in the top 4 early on but unfortunately I was hit from behind witch left me stranded and a couple of laps down. The other driver was penalized. Race 2 and I had to come from the back in 17th place. I put my head down and made plenty of passes racing from last to finally finish in P5. Heading into the final race of the weekend I was very confident that I could challenge the top 3. Unfortunately during the first lap I had a equipment malfunction which restricted my overall pace and took a lot of concentration to stay on track. I stayed inside the top 10 by finishing in 7th place. I think I made some impressions on some by my overall pace and passing. It was great meeting an Legend of the sport NZ own Ken Smith paying me many visits over the weekend with encouraging words. Our good friend and NZRDC President Brian Friend ask Ken to pop over for a chat. Also it was pretty cool being special guests on the grid before the Supercar event which was organised by Formula Ford Australia. We got to meet some of the Supercar drivers and get up close to the cars as well. Overall once again I feel we are very close to having a major result and need to try and keep the momentum that we have built in the last 2 rounds We are hoping to raise enough funds to compete at Round 4 in South Australia at Tailem Bend June 21-23
We have some great support from NZ.
NZRDC president Brian Friend has been supporting Jake for 3 Seasons and was also able to introduce Jake to Legendary Open Wheel Master Ken Smith
Had a massive weekend in Queensland with the National Series for round 2.
I was really looking forward to this race as my driving style really suits the fast flowing corners that Queensland Raceway offers. We had so many dramas all weekend which started on Friday with only completing a total of 6 laps all day. Firstly I had gearbox dramas then in the 3rd session my brakes failed at 200 kph sending me off into a dam. In that session I set the fastest time recorded all day. Come qualifying even though I hadn't completed many laps I felt I would set a decent time. First run I set the 5th fastest time then as I headed out of the pits I was collected by another car ending my session. Just as race 1 was about to start the rain came down and i was ready to make a charge. Unfortunately the car wouldn't start as the cars went to pit lane. We finally got it started but as we were late it meant I had to start from 16th. I was able to make up 7 spots by race end to finish 9th.
Race 2 was a great race, I started 9th and the car felt great. I made heaps of passes and set the fastest lap of the weekend coming home 4th.
I was looking forward to race 3 as I believed I could challenge for the Win. Start of the 2nd lap 3rd place spun 2nd right in front of me and I had to run off track to miss the crash. This sent me back to 13th place. I put my head down and set my sights on the cars ahead. Once again I felt I was the quickest out there and made a ton of passes. By the time the last lap board came out I was in P5. On the last lap my engine cover came flying off sending my Go Pro with it. The Engine cover and camera was destroyed.
I was rewarded with the hard Charger Award for my efforts and it has left me confident that I can beat the bigger teams.
The Next round is with the V8 Supercars on May 25/26 at Winton.
This is 2 years in a row that i received the CHI Hard Charger award at Queensland Raceway.
It was also the first time I was awarded fastest lap in a National Series race.
First round of the Formula Ford National Series is in the books and Jake was able to secure a Top 8 finish overall.
Qualifying Saturday was looking great early on when Jake went 2nd fastest on a damp track and was looking good to be on the front row for the opening race of 2019. Unfortunately as the track started to dry others went faster which left Jake down in 8th place.
Race 1 and Jake was ready to make up for qualifying, In the opening 4 laps he had raced from P8 to 4th challenging for 3rd when his tyres started to fade. He would slowly drop back and finished where he started.
Race 2 on Sunday was a similar with Jake showing some great pace, he was actually faster than 4th and 5th but track position was key and with not much over taking going on he would bring the NZRDC 35 machine home in P9.
With the final race of the weekend Jake knew it was important to finish off the weekend with another points finish and that's what he did. He didn't have the same pace that he had earlier in the day and settle into a pretty lonely race coming home in 8th place. Overall while the results could have been a little better we are happy to secure the points and move onto Queensland for round 2 with high hopes of moving closer to the front. Hopefully a little bit of rain and Jake will be able to show his true skill.
This was Jake's best result in a National Series event at SMSP. This was his 3rd time racing in the National Series at his home track. In 2016 he drove for Listec race cars and finished with 2 DNF's. Then in his new car in 2017 he also finished with a DNF in his final race.
After Jake secured Auto Vault Storage last month we are pleased to announce that the NZRDC and Repco Lidcombe have agreed to support jake through the 2019 Season.
Brian the President from the New Zealand Racing Drivers Club was quick to say he really likes supporting young talent.
Andrew from Repco also stated that he is pleased to be involved again this Season
We are giving fans the chance to join the JD-ARMY which is the Official Jake Donaldson Racing Team Mate Membership
Contact Jake through the JD-ARMY page and see which membership best suits you.
Jake Donaldson will return to the National Formula Ford Series with hope of challenging for the podium in 2019.
Jake will once again be racing the Nations best open wheel catergory. The team is focused on trying to compete at every round of the Championship, however it will depend on Sponsorship contributions.
Winton Raceway Vic
Winton Raceway Vic
Phillip Island Vic
Phillip Island Vic
The Bend Motorsport park SA
The Bend Motorsport park SA
Wakefield Park Nsw
Wakefield Park Nsw
Sydney Motorsport Park
Sydney Motorsport Park